Despite issuing some of the most realistic messaging pertaining to electric vehicles you’re likely to encounter within the automotive industry, Honda has started to come around to making bold commitments that it’ll probably have to revise. In April, the company stated that it wanted EVs and fuel-cell vehicles to make up 40 percent of all new-vehicle sales by 2030 — with the figure climbing to 100 percent by 2040.
Right now, its alternative energy products include the Honda Clarity and marvelously executed Honda E (neither of which are likely to be available in your area). But more vehicles are coming and the brand recently announced the starting point for the business’ battery-electric offensive targeting North America. The whole shebang is supposed to kick off in 2024 when the all-electric “Prologue” goes on sale.
Honda announced the vehicle on Monday, stating that it would be the first in a series of EVs aimed at our market. But your author cannot stop but think of the obvious connections Honda is making to the Prelude (below), though the company never mentioned it directly and was probably wise not to sully by attaching the name to what’s likely to be another vanilla crossover.
Remember how Mitsubishi attempted to leverage the Eclipse name to help draw attention to the Eclipse Cross? Presumably, so does Honda and we expect it doesn’t want to invite the same kind of comparisons that might enrage automotive journalists who have a tendency to fetishize old models.
The Prologue will be the first of two vehicles that Honda is co-developing with General Motors and will borrow the American firm’s Ultium battery pack. Vehicle number two will be an Acura model that’s yet to be named and is likely to use the same architecture.
In addition to the Honda Prologue, the company will introduce an all-electric Acura SUV in the 2024 calendar year. Both will utilize the highly flexible global EV platform powered by Ultium batteries based on the company’s strategic partnership with General Motors. Honda also plans to launch a new series of EV models in the second half of the decade based on a new e:Architecture, with development led by Honda.
“Our first volume Honda BEV will begin our transition to electrification and the name Honda Prologue signals the role it will play in leading to our zero-emission future,” said Dave Gardner, executive vice president of American Honda. “The Prologue will provide our customers with a battery-electric SUV with the excellent functionality and packaging they’ve come to expect from Honda.”
This is a pretty slick way of Honda diving into EVs in North America, without having to commit itself to global battery platforms. But that’s really only going to be praiseworthy if the Japanese automaker’s earlier reservations about EV adoption turn out to be correct. Its Clarity models are presently fielding just about all of its alternative-energy aspirations, with the adorable Honda E (below) taking care of a limited number of urban EV fans since its 2020 introduction. However, the battery-driven Clarity EV was pulled from the market that same year, mildly undermining its commitment to electrification.